So I’m supposed to be writing a post today about how you can make your washer and dryer look cool with electrical tape. While it’s a great tip and trick, I’m just not feeling it today. We promise to keep things authentic and real here on EC2 and today writing about a stupid washing machine just isn’t going to fly. (It’ll come soon though I promise- and if you aren’t up for anything heavy, skip to the ridiculous video at the end of the post)
The past two days someone I love very much has been going through a crazy rough time. We’re talking bottom of the barrel crapola here. It’s one of those situations where I’m doing all I can, but it’s going to come down to just a lot of praying and waiting and a long road ahead. So today, I just can’t feel inspired by electrical tape. Today I’m thinking about how a person so close to you can get so far away and how we let them. I’m thinking about busyness and how perhaps schedule has trumped relationship. I’m also thinking about focus and intentionality. In Ann Voskamp’s forward to Tsh Oxenreider’s new book she writes, “Simplicity is never a matter of circumstances; simplicity is always a matter of focus.”
I’m pretty sure I often let my circumstances drive my focus rather than the other way around. This situation really showing me that.
I usually pride myself on being relationally intentional and making time for people, but there’s one area I really fall short in… long distance. I don’t do the long distance relationship thing well, if at all. I’m such people and relationally driven person, that when I’m not in close proximity, I kind of just let it go and focus on who’s nearby. For people that I care about that are far away, well that’s not awesome at all. Flashback: I moved out of state when I was almost 17 years old and I was NOT happy about it. I didn’t know how to start a new life that my family wanted, when everything I wanted was 6 hours away. I tried for one miserable year to combine both worlds, and then finally just cut off everyone I’d known and loved for 17 years. It was the only way I knew how to make things work. I just focused on what was right in front of me and unfortunately forfeited a lot of life-long relationships. Flashforward: I have some amazing friends and relationships. I hear a lot of times from bloggers that they sometimes feel isolated or like most of their relationships are with other amazing bloggers that live far away. That’s not my case at all. I am so thankful to feel like I have more friendships and relationships than I sometimes can even manage, but if you move away- watch out, I fall off the face of the earth.
So, today someone I love to pieces is a mess and although I’ve done a lot to help when we’re together, I sucked a duck at being supportive from afar. I’m stepping back today to align my focus and get back to simple. Not like eating whole foods, or making my kids clothes (ain’t no shame in that though), but simple like the things that matter. Relationships, People that are hurting, family, and faith. Hopefully, simple will help me to not need a hot mess situation to realize when something is off kilter next time.
Do any of you rock at the long distance thing or have any good advice? I’d love to hear it.
Thanks for letting me just keep it real today, and if it was a bit much for you, here’s a completely ridiculous movie I made with my kids two nights ago. (Don’t judge the lack of makeup or the fact that we condone killing zombies with Nerf Guns)
I really loved how candid you are in the post. I think as a people in general we live by the “outta sight, outta mind” mentality…whether intentionally or not. I moved a lot growing up as a military brat and that carried into my adult life since I myself was in the military. It’s a hard balance to create, and it’s a daily struggle. But, just like Sunday morning breakfast or my fav Thursday night show…ahem scandal…I make it a point to schedule a time to reach out to the people I love. It’s dedicated them time . Also I listen to my heart and mind. When someone is constantly on your mind there’s almost always a reason for it.
Thanks for keeping it real! Having moved around a bunch in the last 20 years, I have a similar problem with keeping in touch with friends who live in places I no longer do. And having moved from Bucks County to Savannah, GA a year and a half ago, going through the same thing again…. ugh have to be better about this. And sorry to hear that someone you love is going through a rough time!
I am also a sucker of the far away and most of those far away people are family. It is definitely a growth area for me. All you good at it people – speak up! We have family overseas that are champs at calling/visiting/letting you know they care. Is this an American thing that we are so selfish/busy to do more than what’s in front of us? On the other hand, I think Mother Teresa said we should just start with the person in front of us. Don’t beat yourself up. Just do better today. Tomorrow has enough trouble of its own.
Thanks for this. I’m the worst at keeping any relationship let alone long distance. I’m a married mother of two soon to be three when the adoption goes through. I have my oldest that goes back and forth between his father and myself, my second has CF, and I just spent three weeks in the hospital praying over my daughter that she would die from brain inuries her seizures caused. Oh did I mention I’m also a foster mom to special needs and premature infants?
I’m not sharing for anyone to feel sorry for me but for people to understand. My mind is constantly at 300mph and so much get dropped. I don’t like making new friends because I don’t want to have to explain my actions over and over. I like my old friends, I love them…I just suck at letting them know. People just stop talking to me, some because they don’t know what it’s like to have a sick kid. “Yes, I know I promised we would go to the zoo but my son is doubled over in pain, I’m sorry if that hurts your kids feelings.”
Sometimes because they just want to chat and I can’t, “Yes, I will do my best to call but my daughter needs so one on one right now.”
Sometimes because they want a night out and my son has just come home, “Sorry, I’m going to spend this time with my son because I’m missing so much!”
Some because they feel I should be more laid back or easy, (maybe I should) ” Sorry, my kids have a super tight schedule that I have to stick to for treatments and meds so I can’t just make last minute plans and go…. ”
Some because I have to say no most of the time (even though in my heart I want to say yes All the time), “no, I can’t volunteer because I have younger kids and you won’t let them come, but I can cook something…”
So many peaks and valleys. I want friends. It gets so lonely sometimes. I try to be the best mom and wife I can as it tears my body to shreds and I just don’t have much else in me. “Friends”seem to be “friends” when it’s convenient. Not when it’s needed. What I really need is for someone not to disappear because the road got tough, or because I said something I shouldn’t have, or because they can’t be hurt by the kids that come in an out of our lives as foster parents. I need a friend to just BE a friend. I’m guessing I ask too much, but I have a hard head and won’t settle. Unfortunately, if I feel You’re letting go, I will let you…
even though it hurts like hell.
I guess mine isn’t quite so simple. There have only been a few times in my entire life that I thought I had found a true friend… I’m no sure at this point how any of those I still have.
Should say “praying she WOULDN’T Die from brain damage!!!
My best friend moved to across country when we were 25. 8 years later she is still my best friend and it still sucks. I’m not on facebook so when we make contact it’s intentional and not lazy FB likes. But we text almost daily. Sometimes it’s silly bits of funny nonsense and sometimes it a sentence straight from my heart about my family or work or life in general. I think the secret of a long distance relationship is the same as any other. Prioritize and be intentional.
Thanks for sharing Molly! I love your “prioritize and be intentional” that will be my motto for today!!
Thanks for being so giving of yourself on this blog Jess it truly speaks to the type of person you are. I too struggle with this by spending most of my time focusing on my family in my household. I’m not much of a phone chatty cathy so it makes it even harder for me to connect to those that do not live in the city. But what I’m trying to do is make an effort, I let people know I’m not much of a talker but I’ll text for days. And my texting is mainly because half the time I have three boys running around the house going amuck and would spend half the time playing referee or the lifeguard for my 1 year old.
I am praying for your friend that they come out of whatever it is that has them weighed down.
Thanks for sharing Beth and for your encouragement! Life with kids can be nuts and I’m just trying to make sure that even with crazy kid life, I’m still focused on others as well! Have an awesome day!
Monica, I just have to say how much I admire you for kicking your schedule to the curb and posting about something that was on your heart. This was a beautiful post and something I can totally relate to. I, too, am horrible at long distance. I get too busy to call and I focus on what’s near me. I really, really want to fix that in myself and am working towards it.
Praying for you on your journey and your friend 🙂
Thanks Lindsay! Yeah, sometimes life trumps scheduled posts. I just couldn’t get the words flowing about TAPE!! My heart was far too heavy for that. Thanks for your encouragement and taking the time to comment. I made little baby steps yesterday by responding to a few long distance emails that came in after my post and man that takes effort for me! I’m gonna have to really focus on this area to see a change in it! Thanks for your prayers friend!
[…] guys are the greatest. Thanks for all the feedback yesterday on Monica’s post about long-distance relationships…it’s so nice to know we can share our hearts and have […]
i love what u do and who u are. ….
chin up. But you do that allready.
2015 WILL be better.